Keeping Anger Out of the Devil's Hands
T. J. Hallock
Ephesians 4:25-27; James 1:19-27
November 17, 2002
One of the misconceptions some Christians hold is that believers must never become angry. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Lord Jesus held passionate feelings that Jerusalem's temple had been turned into a "den of robbers" and that the Pharisees were a "den of vipers". Those passionate feelings became righteous anger and He made a whip of cords to drive out the moneychangers.
Any believer who does not become passionately angry at the devil and sin has become dead in their spirit. I'm angry at the devil because he's keeping too many brothers and sisters in the bondage of poverty and debt. I'm angry at the devil because he's chaining too many saints in the prison of physical suffering. I'm angry at the devil each time I see a hungry child. I'm angry at the devil when he tries to worm his way into the church and turn us against one another and steal our blessing. There are things we ought to be angry about and any believer who isn't has become dead in their spirit.
The issue with anger is not whether we will experience it but what we will do about it. The fundamental question we must ask is whether our feelings control us or do we control our feelings? 2nd Timothy 1:7 says, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." That's why Paul teaches in Ephesians 4:26-27, "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go own while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Every believer has the self-discipline to control his or her anger and not let it be used by the devil to create malicious destruction.
Yet that is exactly what occurs when we don't exercise our spiritual birthright of self-discipline over our feelings. Someone may challenge our self-worth, attack our character, question our intelligence, or do something that flies in the face of all we hold true. Whet ...
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